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Queen's and Ulster University can join UK Turing scheme and Erasmus

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Queen's University in Belfast said the Erasmus scheme, which last year saw 649 local students and staff take part in the study abroad programme, will continue to be used.

Queen's University in Belfast said the Erasmus scheme, which last year saw 649 local students and staff take part in the study abroad programme, will continue to be used.

Queen's University in Belfast said the Erasmus scheme, which last year saw 649 local students and staff take part in the study abroad programme, will continue to be used.

The two local universities are considering taking advantage of a new UK student foreign exchange programme while also being able to avail of the EU's Erasmus scheme.

The UK's withdrawal from Erasmus has been described as a huge blow by the other devolved nations, which will no longer be able to participate.

The UK will instead embark on its own £100m Turing Programme, which is hoped to be up and running from September 2021.

Despite that we will be in the unique position of having access to both exchange schemes.

The Irish Government confirmed it will still be providing €2.1m per year in funding to allow students north of the border to continue to participate in Erasmus, and that it will remain open to both Irish and UK passport holders.

Queen's University in Belfast said the Erasmus scheme, which last year saw 649 local students and staff take part in the study abroad programme, will continue to be used.

It also confirmed it would be considering the new UK scheme as well.

"Once the university reopens after Christmas we will be exploring the possibilities offered by the Turing Programme," it said.

"We want to give all our students the best possible opportunities in their studies."

Ulster University said: "Erasmus has been invaluable for student mobility and Ulster University's current Erasmus-plus mobility funding remains in place until 2022.

"We will consider the available opportunities for continued exchange and mobility for our students."

But for students at university and further education colleges in Britain, the UK Government's withdrawal from the Erasmus programme has caused concern.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the decision was "cultural vandalism".

And the Scottish Government's Universities Minister Richard Lochhead said: "The loss of Erasmus is a huge blow.

"This is simply unacceptable and we are looking at alternative options."

Mr Lochhead was also critical of the Turing Programme.

He added: "It's not even an exchange programme, because there is no support for visits to Scotland."

Erasmus, which the UK joined in 1987, allows students to study and work across Europe.

It is used by more than 2,000 Scottish students and staff annually.

Belfast Telegraph


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